Asia’s most important river: The Hong, Vietnam
The Red River also known as the Hong River is one of the most important rivers in Asia. It is also at the heart of Vietnam and it is impossible to calculate the importance of the Hong River in Vietnamese history. The river starts in Yuanyang County in the Yunnan Province of China just outside Kunming and it flows southeast through Northern Vietnam to the disputed South China Sea.
The Red River Delta is the most important region in Vietnam because of its fertility. More than half of Vietnam is employed in agriculture and more specifically the country’s rice industry. Rice is Vietnam’s largest export and was what initially gave Vietnam such a significant place on the world stage. Vietnam is the third-largest exporter of rice in the world after India and Pakistan. The export unites those three countries.
Vietnam’s largest trading partner is the United States followed by Japan, China and South Korea. Trade with Germany is also rising. However, farming in Vietnam remains very laborious. The southern and central regions of the country closer to the coasts experience typhoons and infertility after farming the same crop year after year. Also, the country is heavily dependent on the water buffalo, a buffalo that comes in grey and black and has the longest horns of any cattle.
The delta holds many minerals of high trading value including coal. Not talking about the region’s military importance would be ignorant. When the Vietnamese tribes first united and formed a coherent monarchy, Vietnam’s first dynasty ruled from the delta. Legend says that this first dynasty came from King De Minh who was the descendant of the Chinese Father of Agriculture.
Thousands of years later, when Napoleon the Third of France made the decision to invade Vietnam, his troops had difficulty advancing further than Saigon into the Red River Delta. Whereas lands in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia were easily captured. In the late 19th century, the French signed a treaty with the Chinese that created a border that followed the Red River which had been used as a border between those two countries (i.e Vietnam and China) earlier.
In conclusion, the Red River is crucial for Vietnam’s economy and military power. Its largest export and its mines all depend on the River for survival.